If I owe a ren-a-center, what can they legally do to me?

UPDATED: Dec 13, 2011

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If I owe a ren-a-center, what can they legally do to me?

A rent-a-center came knocking on our door with a policeman in tow. The store had previously tried to tell us were were several months in arrears on the equipment and tacked on late charges. The previous manager had told us we only had 1 payment left. What can they legally do?

Asked on December 13, 2011 under Bankruptcy Law, Texas


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

First, you only owe as per the agreement--that is, you owe whatever payments you were obligatged to make under the agreement, plus any late fees or interest. If you have the agreement and can show what you paid, you should be able to both establish and demonstrate the actual amount you still owe.

Second, assuming you are in default on the agreement, the rent-a-center can very likely take back the item(s) you are purchasing (check the agreement to see their rights in this regard) and/or sue you for the money you owe.

Third, IF they believe that you acted in a criminal fashion--i.e. deliberately bought an item intending to not pay for it--they may be able to press charges for theft.

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